Yesterday, I posted on the shortcomings of ethanol. Today, I'll post more on the very serious shortcomings of ethanol, and prove why it is certainly not the great claimed alternative fuel as claimed by some.
One serious drawback about ethanol is that agriculture experts such as David Pimental from Cornell University note that it would take 11 acres of farmland to grow enough corn to produce enough ethanol to power the average automobile for just one year, while the same amount of farmland could be used to feed seven people for one year by comparison. Diverting so much farmland into fuel produce really makes no ethical or moral sense.
A further problem is that it costs far more to produce one gallon of ethanol than one gallon of gas. A gallon of ethanol costs around $1.74 in total production costs to produce, a figure which is significantly higher than the average of about one dollar in total costs to produce one gallon of gasoline. Ethanol production doesn't make financial sense. Further ethanol is expensive to produce that fossil fuels, and not ethanol fuels are used to power the production of corn into this fuel. The process involves just 8% usable material for fuel that must be separated from 92% water, which requires a complex and expensive three stage process to convert the corn into fuel.
A further problem is like all claimed miracle alternative fuels, ethanol takes far energy to produce than it actually yields. In fact 131,000 BTUs are required to produce just one gallon of ethanol so that will return no more than just 77,000 BTUs of energy. This is a significant loss of energy and also proves that ethanol is simply not a cost or energy efficient form of fuel.
A further problem is that because corn produces so little fuel power because only 8% of the product must be separated from 92% water to produce alcohol, it would take 97% of the area mass of the entire U.S. to produce enough ethanol to power every motor vehicle in the entire nation.
Ethanol also gets poorer gas mileage than gasoline, so it does nothing to increase fuel economy either.
Yet strangely there are those back in Washington than continue to promote this great fuel hoax, including the current Secretary Of Agriculture. All of this only illustrates the continued strength of the corporate agriculture lobby.
Ethanol is not good for the health of automobiles and can cause fuel system or carburetor damages, and ethanol tends to be poor for performance in motorcycles and other motor vehicles.
Another problem is that ethanol really diverts serious attention away from the development of more serious forms of alternative energy powered cars or advanced technology such as extreme hybrids or even fuel cell powered vehicles.
Unfortunately just like so many other miracles, it turns out that ethanol is yet just another big hoax.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!